Friday, December 30, 2011

Funny Foto Friday

This makes me snort~
Don't you love her expression??


"It's a doggy, mommy, and he's taller than me. And he just peed all over that little car!"



http://d30opm7hsgivgh.cloudfront.net/upload/211442326_cayRZvLU_b.jpg

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Awesomesauce Friends

Dear awesomesauce readers/friends/writers/authors/buddies:

Taffy here
<-------

Thank you for visiting my blog throughout 2011! I appreciate your visits and comments more than you'll know. You have given me an amazing gift of friendships memories that I hope will last years if not a life time.
I've met many of you through writing conferences, blogs and author signings. It's been a fantastic ride and I've enjoyed my adventures this past year. All thanks to you, dearest readers.
And a huge shout out to my critique group, the Sharks & Pebbles! You. Are. The. Best.
Being in the reminiscing mode I glanced through my posts from the past. I found a few I'd forgotten about and I'd like to share them with you. This is one way I can show you my thanks, by giving back those posts many of you read and enjoyed:
(Thankyouthankyouthankyou.)

  • Do you know the rules of a diamante poem? Me either. Until I wrote one. Diamante Poem
  • I try and post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On a rare occasion I post on another day. This post about what to expect after getting rejected, showed up on Saturday: What? A Saturday Post? 
  • In The Abominable Snowman Way I compare writing to making a cake an Abominable Snowman cake. :) 

I hope all your wildest dreams come true in 2011!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Quote

'It is perfectly okay to write garbage--
as long as you edit brilliantly.' 
~C J Cherryh

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011

I'm copying Elana Johnson's post today. Pop over and say hi to her than come on back.
Reading her list made me wonder what my favorite books were this year so here it is, all nine (I'm saving the tenth spot just in case I read a favorite over Christmas break...).




FORGOTTEN by Cat Patrick
Every morning the main characters memories resets at 4:33. She leaves notes for herself every night so she doesn't wear the same outfit or needs to study for a test. Loved the unique story.




THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson
Loved. This. Book. Full of what? Opposites? A fat princess, scared prince and an assassinating nurse maid. Everywhere Rae Carson sent the princess I FELT like I was there. In the hot desert or lush forest, I pictured everything without realizing I was there.



 FALLEN GRACE by Mary Hooper
I was tense from the very first page of this page and didn't relax until the very end.





GEEK GIRL by Cindy Bennett
Great, sweet, clean teen read. 

 THE IRON KNIGHT by Julie Kagawa
Another favorite read this year. I want to reread this whole series now that Iron Knight is out.

 








ENTWINED by Heather Dixon
Another retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale. Loved it.




THE HEALING SPELL by Kimberly Little
Beautiful story of faith, family and forgiveness. Set in the Bayou, I often wondered of an alligator was going to get me. :)




LOVE TWELVE MILES LONG by Glenda Armand
Beautiful picture book about Fredrick Douglas and his mother





CARVING ANGELS by Diane Tolley
Sweet Christmas story.







(I reviewed all of these books on The Book Addict if you're interested. I have a search box so it's easier to find the review.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Break=No Writing

 It's Christmas break which I LOVE because:
my kids are home
we make lots of treats
we watch tons of Christmas movies
the routine is relaxed
neighbors visit
Christmas music plays all the time

The one draw back (other than gaining weight) is I won't have as much time on the computer. My writing time will be limited which stinks. I'm finding my groove with this YA Horror but it's still kicking my backside. I can't pantser this one like I have all the others. The story seriously will not let me just write and write and write. I have to be slow and methodical.
After reading through a little bit of one of my older stories, I had an epiphany why this latest story is so hard to write:
I think I'm getting better as a writer.
There it is.
I don't mean I'm the next NY Times Bestseller. I mean I'm understanding this craft better. Which is gratifying and hard. It's was kinda nice being obviously to my atrocious mistakes. Now that I know what they are, writing takes me longer.
I hope to get some writing done while the kids sleep in. That usually gives me a few hours (if I'm not sleeping in!). I'm not stressed though. Sometimes a break from writing recharges the old brain. I do plan on reading a ton though! Thus, my need for sleeping in. :)

What are your writing plans this holiday break?


HAVE A GREAT CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

CARVING ANGELS by Diane Tolley

Papa Adam, the North Pole's oldest elf and Santa's former chief carver, has given up. Blind, frail, and feeling useless, he counts the minutes in every day as he waits to die -- until his youngest granddaughter challenges him to carve again. Together they prove that the most beautiful creations can come from the most unlikely sources and with the right love and encouragement, anything is possible.

First line:
"The old elf sat on the porch of his cozy little cabin and gazed sightlessly out at the world, feeling at once worn out and useless."


Sweet, heartwarming and uplifting Christmas story. One I recommend buying for your Christmas book collection.
A story of love, family ties, elves and a little bit of Christmas magic. 
 Papa Adam has given up on himself until his little granddaughter visits, asking for a wood carving like her cousins received from him. At first he refuses but soon his love for carving is rekindled and a sweet relationship between grandpa and granddaughter is forged.
Papa Adam finds he is still needed, not only by his granddaughter but also by Santa Claus.


Loved: 
Papa Adam
Amy
Symbolism
Dasher


I would LOVE to see this as a picture book somehow.


Rated: G



25% test (p. 29):

"Sometime later, the little girl set her carving down and began to scrape up her shavings.
Her grandfather turned toward her. “Getting ready to go, angel?” he asked.
“Yeah. The day-end whistle went,” she told him.
“Huh. I didn’t even hear it,” Grandpa said wonderingly.
“And I promised Mama I’d be home for supper.”
Advance
“Better scoot!”
She giggled. “Grandpa, you say the funniest
things!” She threw her arms around him. “Mmmm, you smell nice,”she said,“like fresh wood and peppermint.”
He laughed. “That's what grandpas are made of," he said, hugging her back. “Will I see you tomorrow?”
“Oh, yes, Grandpa! I want to finish this bird for
Mama for Christmas!”
“But Christmas is still months away!” “That’s okay!” “Well, all right then.” Another hug. “I love you, Grandpa!” “I love you, too, dear . . . so much!” And she was gone.
Grandpa carefully tidied up the room and threw a cloth over the tools set in regimental order on the..."

Foto Friday~HP

 LOVE this pic!







http://d30opm7hsgivgh.cloudfront.net/upload/187158240_5iOf2UKK_b.jpg

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wordage & Editing & Seriously?

See anything wrong with this sign?


If you saw this sign, wouldn't you take it down? Or maybe someone left it up wondering how many people would notice. Like my hubby who didn't notice.
Our brain knows what the word is suppose to be without the missing "h." My brain stopped thinking and conjured the image after I passed and I laughed and thought about pulling over to take a picture. I didn't. I was on a time schedule.
On the way home the sign faced me again so I did stop.
This is one good reason to have a second set of eyes on your story. We can edit and edit and think our story is awesome. But another person reading it will catch a missing "h."
Seen any good signs or quotes lately? Do Share!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Besides, the world isn't split up into good people and death eaters. We've all got both light, and dark inside of us. What matters, is the part we choose to act on."


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

RhinoWriMo

How's your writing going this month? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?
Good luck! I know you can do it!
About halfway through November, it's easy to get bogged down in your writing and quit. You need some motivation to carry on. I totally understand.

Well, I'm introducing, RhinoWriMo to you. Just let me know that you're experiencing writers cramp/block and these two rhinos will be coming at ya full tilt.

So sit your backside back down in that chair before you end up hurt.

Waddya say to that? Call RhinoWriMo today.

(They both have unlimited charge cards.) (I had to say it, sorry!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Author Guest Spot with Cindy Bennett

I LOVED Geek Girl by Cindy Bennett! A good, clean book I can recommend to any teenager. Today I'm honored to have her as a guest here!


Which is More Effective: Writing a Query, or Hitting Your Head Against a Wall? 
by Cindy C Bennett

I have yet to meet an author who actually enjoys writing a query letter. There’s something not quite right about taking an 80,000 word manuscript that you’ve labored over for months, and then trying to condense that into about 300 words. Not only that, in those 300 words, you have to make your strongest sales point within the first 100 words. To give you an idea of how long that is, you are now reading the 78th word. If this were my query, I’d only have this one last sentence to make an impression good enough to keep you reading.
So how do you go about writing a query? Well, the first thing you have to do is research. There are many, many sites out there with great advice about writing a query. Read as many of them as you can. They are all a little different, with different opinions or “rules” for a good query letter. There isn’t any one that is the absolute right way, and that’s because it all depends on who you’re sending the query to.
That means the second thing you want to do is search out the agents or publishers that you are going to submit to. They all have different guidelines, and depending on those will depend on how you format it. You’ll want to make sure you’re submitting to the right agent. If an agent states they represent children’s books, your query for your adult thriller is going to hit the circular file beneath their desk, or the virtual one on their desktop (read: recycle bin).
Almost always you want to begin with a hook, something that peaks the interest of the recipient. You can read samples galore on the internet. You just have to figure out how to make your letter sound interesting in one sentence. And you thought 300 words was ridiculously few. Somewhere in there you need to get in the title, genre, and word count—all very important pieces of information.
Next you’ll want to give a very brief synopsis of the book. This is not the same as a blurb. Cliff hanger type sentences don’t work here: “Will she give the baby up, or decide to raise him herself?” Instead say what does happen: “She decides to keep the baby, and then must deal with the consequences of that decision, including trying to keep the baby’s father involved.”
Finally, you have to toot your own horn. This is where I struggle most. Why should this agent/editor believe that I’m the best person to have written this particular book? If you’re writing non-fiction, this is much easier. With fiction, it can get a little sketchy, unless you’re writing about something you’ve specifically had experience with.
Another option is to take an online class with help on how to write a query. I did this after so many rejections came in I was beginning to fear both my mailbox and my email inbox. And then, ironically, I never sent any of those out since I decided to self-pub. But it came in handy when I did decide to submit once again, and it was a positive experience since I received a “yes” from Cedar Fort.
Whatever, and however, you choose to write the query, just be professional, clear and concise, and make sure your grammar, punctuation, and spelling are absolutely perfect. One mistake there and they will likely not give it a second glance. If all else fails, go ahead and hit your head against the wall a few times. It’s about equal in the painful department. (Just kidding! Please don’t hit your head against the wall.)

For an interview with Cindy and a review of her book GEEK GIRL, head over to my book review blog Book Addict.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Foto Friday

Who is she?
Is she waiting for someone to return?
Or watching them leave?









http://d30opm7hsgivgh.cloudfront.net/upload/258035655_5qmvkW4I_b.jpg

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Exiled by RaShelle Workman Blog Tour


eBook NOW available on AMAZON, BARNES&NOBLE, and SMASHWORDS.

Stubborn, sixteen-year-old Princess Venus of Kelari wants one thing, to become a kelvieri, that is, until someone exiles her to Earth, kills her irrihunter and takes her family.

Now she wants revenge.

First she’s got to get home. But before she can return to Kelari, the Gods have commanded her to help an arrogant boy named Michael find his soul mate. Only she doesn't know the first thing about love.

Rather quickly, her inexperience with human emotion is obscured by other matters—alien-controlled psychotic teens that are out to kill her, and a government group that is set on capturing and dissecting her.

Worst of all, Venus will suffer a painful death-by-poisoning, thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, if she remains on the planet longer than one week. Still, Venus is a Princess and she's got a plan. Surely, with her help, Michael will fall in love with a human.

But time is running out and Michael is falling for the wrong girl—her.



What a ride!
Venus is kidnapped and sent to Earth to fulfill a special mission. But who is REALLY behind the kidnapping??
I can't tell you. You'll just have to read RaShelle's book and find out what happens with Venus. Does she succeed? Who should she trust? Why oh why is there another love triangle with hot guys and cliffhanger?

What I liked:
Venus being human and confused by it
Zaren
Michael
The story of Venus' gods
The boots, where can I get some?

Didn't like:
The bad guy; he's evil
Venus being so mopey (though I understand why)
Some info dumping
Needed one more edited

Rating: PG 16
V: Yes
L: Yes but not "human" swearing
S: No but sensual scenes


This post is part of a great blog tour! Check it out:


DARK C.A.R.MA. TOUR





Bio:
RASHELLE WORKMAN lives with her husband, three children and three dogs. When she gets a quiet moment alone, she enjoys reading about faraway places. And, in case you were wondering, yes, she does believe there is other life out in the Universe.